This was supposed to be the first "real" test for the Packers this season as it was on the road against a perennial NFC power, that being the New Orleans Saints.  It did not disappoint, as the game itself was back and forth with a lot of lead changes.  Ultimately the Packers are and were the better team as they prevailed even without their #1 WR Davante Adams.

Matt Lefleur is now 16-3 as the Packers head coach - the best start to any Packers' coaches career in the history of the franchise.  He appears to be the real deal.

  • OFFENSE:
    • Aaron Rodgers is playing lights out football - he is getting the ball out MUCH quicker and dumping it off a lot more.
      • He's got 9 TDs and no interceptions...he would be the early favorite for MVP if Russel Wilson wasn't breaking NFL records
      • Wilson is really the only other QB playing better than Rodgers 3 weeks in.
    • The amount of pre-snap motion and misdirection that the Packers have adopted post-Mike McCarthy is stunning. In reality the Packers are just keeping up with the rest of the league, which shows how stale and predictable MM's offense had become late in his tenure.
    • Jace Sternberger finally showed up and caught a couple big passes - he desperately needed it and this offense could really use a threat in the middle of the field.
    • Aaron Jones was good, not great, but he was fine.  The offense did miss not having Davante Adams, but the other WRs stepped up and played solid if not spectacular football.
    • The Packers went for it on 4th down a few times in this game, once on the goal line.  I believe they were 2-3 on 4th down.  Again, more stuff that MM would never do.
    • The one area where the Packers need to improve on offense is the red zone - they are kicking ass between the 20s, but when they get to the red zone they are not sharp yet.  Way too many wasted plays or just plain poor play calling.
  • DEFENSE:
    • The defense basically played bend but don't break football, which is probably the best we can hope for.
    • Alvin Kamara is an incredible running back...he is fun to watch.  Aaron Jones is really good, but Kamara is even better.  It's hard for us to say that being a Packers fan but it's true.
    • Drew Brees is washed up - the offense basically consisted of getting the ball to Kamara by any means necessary.  Brees cannot throw a pass longer than 10 yards right now.
    • The run defense is not good, it's not god awful but without Kenny Clark they really don't stand much of a chance.
    • The Smith bros. have had a very ho-hum start to this year, probably more a product of teams running vs. passing so neither of them can completely pin their ears back and rush the QB.
      • Z'darius is being exploited in the run game - teams run right at him and he gets washed out way too frequently.
    • Jaire Alexander is SO close to becoming great, but he drops every INT thrown his way it seems and he inexplicably gives up easy long passes too often.
    • ILB is in big trouble...Christian Kirksey left with an injury so they have two guys named Dave playing ILB right now - yuck.
  • SPECIAL TEAMS:
    • This unit has been very solid and consistent to start the year.  JK Scott has only had to punt a handful of times and Crosby has made every field goal. Hooray!

PREDICTIONS HALF-TIME:

  • Andy: 24-17 Packers
  • Jeremy: 20-17 Falcons
  • Elliot: 17-14 Falcons

PREDICTIONS FINAL:

  • Andy: 35-24 Packers 
  • Jeremy: 37-34 Packers
  • Elliot: 42-17 Packers

 

Episode Duration
01:00:44
Absolute Packer Podcast with Andy Hetzel, Jeremy Hautala and Elliot Christenson